We woke up to another beautiful day in Umbria, and today we were headed for Todi, located on the Tiber River and reported in the late 90's to be "the world's most livable city". Traveling with Richard is a "kick". He's always on the lookout for art and good food, so as we headed into the town on this day, he headed us toward a gallery he had discovered last year, Ab Ovo Art Gallery. Apparently, he had met the owner last year, so he had called her, and she opened the shop a little early just for us to be able to explore.
The Gallery was a feast for every kind of art: textiles, ceramics, jewelry...whatever you could be interested in, it's there. The room we hit first was textiles, and some really interesting fashion.
Donna and her red hat - there's a story here.
Donna and Sara love hats and can really pull them off.
She pulls it off, doesn't she.
Yep, Tonya found something she could buy.
Zwetelina Alexieva, and her exquisite, one-of-a-kind jewelry.
I think she's also the owner of the Gallery, or at least she runs it.
He had such flair, and such a good time showing
Somae how many ways she could wrap it.
You can even wrap it around your neck for a stunning look!
Meanwhile, Richard found a piece that he couldn't resist.
This really was some of my favorite.
And I love the sculptures of faces.
"Yes, dear...it's YOU".
A poetic couple, if I ever knew one!
Richard and his beautiful wife, Somae.
Yes, she bought it.
For me, the highlight of the day was the feast. The painters had decided to meet at a small sandwich shop for lunch, just before the bus left, but the poets? O, wow...the poets know how to FEAST. One of the holiest moments for me on Sunday morning is Eucharist, which means "thanksgiving". It's the meal we receive together at the communion rail. It's not the sermon, it's not even the music, it's coming together to eat - the holiest act of community. Maybe that's why the meal with new friends in Assisi affected me so - and certainly that's why the meal in Todi was such a gift.
We had heard about Restorante Umbria from Nina, so when it came time to decide where to eat, the poets went for "blowing the budget" and having one really fine restaurant meal together, so off we went looking for the restaurant.
Jodi and Nancy lead the way.
Everything about the place is a feast.
This is at the entryway.
It was a bit cloudy and a little misty, but it didn't matter.
The view was spectacular.
Jodi and Somae share a moment.
The view through the arches - fabulous!
to the left...
And to the right - Italy as I've always dreamed!
Instead of just ordering a light lunch, we decided to each one order one thing that we wanted off the menu, then share - and we wound up with a beautiful feast, split the bill, and no one was out that much. Wine, bread, community - a thanksgiving Eucharist!
I couldn't ask for more. I ordered ravioli,
and I've never eaten anything so light and beautiful!
Richard's new coat
After leaving Todi, we saw another sunflower field even more beautiful than the one at Assisi - just a day later, and the flowers were fully opened. Raniero pulled the bus over and again, we went traipsing through the sunflower fields, taking pictures and being little children.
Maybe one of my most favorite days - but then, most of them were "favorite days". Tomorrow? Finally, a day of rest and relaxation. A chance to work on some poetry, to do a little laundry, and to just chill. I need it. My feet need it.